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What are Erectile Dysfunction Pumps?

By Elan Kesilman-Potter
Updated May 17, 2024
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Erectile dysfunction pumps, also known as penis pumps or vacuum constriction devices, are used to help achieve or maintain erections in men who are experiencing problems with impotence. An erectile dysfunction pump consists of a tube that fits over the penis with one or more constriction bands. A hand pump or battery-powered pump removes the air from the tube and creates a vacuum. This vacuum forces blood to the penis, causing an erection that can be maintained through the use of a constriction band at the base of the penis.

Vacuum erection devices can be helpful to men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) because of poor blood flow to the penis, diabetes or post-prostate surgery. Generally, these pumps are an effective ED treatment that is also non-invasive and cost-effective, unlike other ED treatments, such as medications or implant surgery. The pumps can also be used in conjunction with medications or implants.

The use of an erectile dysfunction pump is a relatively simple process. First, the pump is placed on the penis. Then, the pump is used to force blood into the penis and create an erection. When the user then slides the constriction band down to the base of the erect penis, the erection can be maintained for sexual intercourse.

There are some potential side effects of using erectile dysfunction pumps. The erection can often be purple or cold with some numbness. There can also be bruising at the base of the penis caused by the constriction band. Some users have additionally reported that erectile dysfunction pumps make ejaculation difficult because the constriction band can prevent semen from escaping. When this occurs, the ejaculate normally can come out when the band is removed.

Hand-powered erectile dysfunction pumps are as effective in achieving erections as battery-powered ones, but battery-powered pumps might create an erection more quickly and can be simpler to use for men who have limited hand strength. Battery-powered pumps also are more expensive. The costs of erectile dysfunction pumps, however, can be offset by insurance coverage in many cases.

Penis pumps are often advertised for reasons other than achieving erections, such as increasing the length and girth of penises. There is no medical evidence, however, to support these claims. In fact, doctors warn against using pumps for penis enlargement, because overuse can potentially injure the penis.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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